Clackamas County Board Wants to Search Your Cooler
Ever since the tragedy of 9/11, governments at all levels in this country have taken dramatic steps to curtail our civil liberties, all in the guise of “public safety”.
At the same time, it amazes me how people justify the what the government is doing.
Take the Transportation Security Administration, for example. Through the TSA, we have been subjected to all sorts of humiliations and degradations. We have been subjected to “nude” x-rays, groping pat downs, wounded servicemen being forced out of their wheelchairs, grandmothers and children being poked, prodded and groped.
Cars parked by valet at airports are now being searched by the TSA. Our checked bags are being randomly searched by TSA. Because of this, we are no longer allowed to lock our luggage, and it is now subject to theft by airline employees.
There are those who say that if you don’t want to be subjected to that, there are other methods of travel. While that’s true, in and of itself, that’s not the point.
The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect us from illegal search and seizure, and TSA’s searches are, in my opinion, unreasonable.
Clackamas County in Oregon is now proposing to search coolers taken into Carver Park, on the Clackamas River. The “reason” given is that there are signs posted stating alcoholic beverages are illegal in the park, but it is often ignored. The river, in and around the park, is littered with beer cans.
I’ve been to that park, and it is a very popular spot, but there are a lot of illegal aliens who hang out there. I’ve seen them drinking and fighting, and attempting their “swoop and squat” frauds.
But to search people’s coolers? What probable cause is there for you to search my cooler? There isn’t any.
Another way that the county is looking at is to force you to purchase a permit to use the river, to use the “public” lands. They call it a fee, but it’s just another tax, another way to drive the public out of public lands.
I’m not saying that littering isn’t a problem there, or public drunkenness. Public drunkenness is a crime, as is taking alcoholic beverages into the park. Instead of searching everyone’s coolers, give the park officials the power to write citations. If I am doing something illegal, cite me, but don’t do a preemptive search because you think I “might” do something wrong. This isn’t Minority Report.
Most state parks in Oregon already charge a fee to enter the park. This money is ostensibly used to pay park officials and pay for maintaining the parks, but we all know that’s bullshit. They don’t use the money for that. They use it to dump into Oregon’s failing education system. The Oregon Lottery, when it was started in the mid-80’s, was supposed to fund our schools. Now in addition to the education system, it funds our parks, “economic development” (meaning business subsidies), and “gambling addiction” treatment. Pretty soon, we’ll be funding drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
But the justification for this is either “there are other parks to choose from, so if you don’t like it, go to another park”, or “they do it at stadiums and arenas”. Any “public” building owned by the government does not have the right to infringe on your rights of personal security and privacy.
That kind of justification is called “rationalization”. Things like this are fine, as long as it is happening to someone else. They don’t realize that when something finally happens that does impact them, it will be too late because they never stood up against the government taking other civil liberties away. They just didn’t want to be bothered.
Need I remind anyone that Congress has already suspended our right to a trial by jury or being brought before a judge to face charges when they passed the Nation Defense Authorization Act of 2012?
A friend likes to point out that both his friends on the left and his friends on the right hate the government, and both sides get irritated when he points that out. It’s true, we do, but we hate the government for different reasons. They hate it because they feel it infringes on our civil liberties. The right hates it because they feel it infringes on our civil liberties. Too bad both sides can’t see there is common ground between them.
Government is out of control. They have this misconception that they are elected to rule over us. As long as this feeling persists in our government, things will continue to get worse as they continue to infringe on our rights.